“I don’t have a thing to wear!” It is the stereotypical line for the woman who is obsessed with the latest fashion, the woman who doesn’t really want to go out, or the woman who isn’t happy with her current body size. Oh, on this last, the closet crying, the dressing drama, the shopping shame… and occasionally, shenanigans.
And it is this reason for staring woefully at your wardrobe that I wish to touch on — when everything you feel most yourself in is too small — knowing how tedious it is going through what is hanging on a rack and still might fit, only to wind up (again!) relying on what is blatantly baggy and borderline basic.
My, my… How often this routine leaves some of us to accepting our “limitations” with a sigh. Or is it just me? (I doubt it.)
All I know is that I’m weary of scowling at black, black, and more black… a little denim, more denim, maybe a blue shirt… a few more neutrals…
I really don’t have anything to wear these days (more accurately, very little). And it’s depressing. I have my go-to black jeans (thankfully, I can breathe in them again), a number of black tops (mostly oversized), and that’s about it. I need more color! More pizzazz! And more motivation to slip into something else.
But wait! Is this really purely an issue of surpassing the size we have worn for years? Might this also be a matter of creeping bad habits? Caring less about how we look? Changing circumstances? Feeling like it doesn’t matter? Is the closet cry, “I don’t have a thing to wear,” an issue more complex than no longer loving the shopping process — instead involving aging, self-image, and a narrowing lifestyle?
Now, I certainly still love my Elle, my Bazaar, and when I choose to indulge — French Vogue. What can I say… I have always been susceptible to the pleasure of a print magazine.
But when I find myself scanning the seductive styles on Elle’s glossy pages and then considering my closet, when I stand in front a mirror and grapple with the past few years’ changes, I am reminded of two things — old esteem issues to do with weight, and the reality that for all the pretty clothes I have (and could fit just eight pounds lighter) — I have no occasion to wear them.
Dare I confess? Oh, gods of fantasy footwear, bodacious boots, and snuggly sweaters, I recently confided that I yielded to seasonal sales in the past two weeks. And frankly, I’m glad that I did since I am most “myself” in fitted black jeans and a flattering top with a cute little bootie peeking out below, or a pencil skirt and jacket with a tall boot (especially as the weather grows cold).
And I’m working on the Field of Dreams approach; if I build it, they will come. (If I use cute clothes to motivate myself, I will create those social opportunities.)
I’m also recognizing that it is so much easier to pack on the pounds in middle age! (And yes, it is a struggle over age 50 to lose the weight.) But while a few extra pounds is normal at this age — and yes, this is an old, all-too-familiar topic for me — I am faced with an overwhelming number of beautiful skirts, blouses, jackets and assorted little tops that I adore, but that are two sizes, three sizes, and even four sizes too small for the current “me.” I may have long ago eliminated my twos, but my fabulous fours? My sexy sixes? My elegant eights?
No! I can’t let you go! I won’t give up!
So… I have been visiting my closet more often as motivation, much as one might visit an old friend. (It works!) And, I have my eye on my jeans in size six…
And then there’s this. When I look on the hangers, on the shelves, in the drawers, and when I see all the options that simply don’t fit, I’m grateful that I have generally invested in classic styles and quality brands. Theoretically, 80% of my wardrobe is still entirely wearable, or would be — and then I wonder if I have become lax about my size in part because I so rarely go out. (I work from home, remember?)
I’m pondering that one.
My willingness to adhere to the discipline necessary to have plenty to wear has been helped along by the few finds I picked up on Black Friday and Cyber Monday… Not exactly shameless shopping; more like justifiable junkets to my favorite stores online, and with virtually no guilt. (And the Contessa agrees.)
Now, as I delight in two new sweaters and my beautiful booties, how do I scare up occasions to put them on other than for a run to the supermarket?
I enjoy dressing up, at least from time to time, but while I may be accustomed to getting dressed even as I sit at my laptop working on a project, it just isn’t the same as getting oneself ready to be up, out, and about. Oh, the isolation of the remote worker! But that’s another subject, albeit related…
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